Math Professor Verifies Centuries-Old Conjecture About Formation of the Solar System

Protoplanetary Disk of HL Tauri

WPI mathematical physicist Mayer Humi has been finding out the photo voltaic system for many years. Credit: Worcester Polytechnic Institute/Matthew Burgos

Using a restricted set of mathematical equations, Worcester Polytechnic Institute mathematical sciences professor Mayer Humi mentioned he has confirmed a 224-year-old math conjecture concerning the origins of our photo voltaic system, offering insights concerning the course of that results in the formation of photo voltaic techniques throughout the universe.

“The science neighborhood is conscious by now that there are literally thousands of photo voltaic techniques within the galaxy. But what’s not identified is how these photo voltaic techniques got here into existence,” mentioned Humi. “And what I’ve done is show that the first step to the creation of a solar system is the emergence of rings around a protostar. So from that standpoint, I’ve been able to verify a conjecture that is more than two centuries old.”

Humi’s peer-reviewed paper on the subject, titled “On the Evolution of a Primordial Interstellar Gas Cloud,” was lately revealed within the Journal of Mathematical Physics and was designated an “editor’s pick” as a featured piece.

Humi, a mathematical physicist engaged on the event and software of mathematical strategies to astrophysics, atmospheric analysis, and satellite tv for pc orbits, has been finding out this query for greater than 20 years. It is a thriller that has fascinated many generations of scientists, and an inquiry that turned extra pertinent as observations confirmed that photo voltaic techniques and exoplanets are plentiful in our galaxy. A conjecture, Humi famous, is a mathematical assertion that has not been confirmed.

“We want to know how our solar system will evolve as time goes by,” mentioned Humi. “There are two theories: one conjecture is that all the planets will be absorbed by the sun. The other conjecture is that planets are running away from the sun. The fundamental question is: How stable is the solar system? Are we going to be absorbed by the sun or are we going to run away from the sun?”

Protoplanetary Disk of HL Tauri

The protoplanetary disk across the star HL Tau from ALMA. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), NSF

Humi says this analysis additionally has implications for points akin to local weather change and the surroundings. “Imagine if we are going to come a few million miles closer to the sun. That would lead to major changes in climate and impact humanity. Oceans might evaporate.”

In 1796, the French mathematical physicist Pierre-Simon Laplace conjectured that step one for the formation of a photo voltaic system from a primordial celestial cloud of gasoline requires the creation of rings of condensed matter inside a cloud.

Even with its intuitively interesting contents, Humi mentioned, this conjecture remained unverified for greater than two centuries regardless of many efforts. Until now.

Humi was ready to make use of a time-dependent mannequin (based mostly on Euler-Poisson equations) for the evolution of a primordial gasoline cloud and confirmed—for what Humi believes is the primary time—that, underneath correct situations, Laplace’s conjecture is right.

Humi mentioned there have been some challenges along with his analysis.

“The real stumbling block that I had to overcome in order to obtain this result was to be able to reduce the complexity of the original model,” he mentioned. “That model has six nonlinear partial differential equations, which I reduced to three. I then provided analytical solutions to these equations, which demonstrated the creation matter rings as conjectured by Laplace.”

Humi famous that there was a surge of curiosity in Laplace’s conjecture in recent times as a result of precise discovery of ring buildings across the star HL Tau within the constellation Taurus.

Humi mentioned his analysis is distinctive as a result of it makes us contemplate our personal existence.

“It relates to the age-old question about humanity, our place in the universe, and our destiny,” he mentioned.

Reference: “On the evolution of a primordial interstellar gas cloud” by Mayer Humi, 15 September 2020, Journal of Mathematical Physics.
DOI: 10.1063/1.5144917

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